Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s Transportation commissioner, manages to be equal parts Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. As she prepares to close swaths of Broadway to cars next week, she is igniting a peculiar new culture war—over the role of the automobile in New York.
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What is so radical about the idea that the central city is better off with fewer cars? Pedestrian-friendly zones honor our city centers, and in the long-term, dramatically INCREASE economic activity for local shopowners and taxi drivers too. Like our absence of government-sponsored health care, the United States is the only advanced industrial nation that does not follow this basic design concept in its major cities.
UPDATE (7:30 pm): Heard in the car on the way home tonight, on NPR, a cab driver: “Stupid people, streets are for cars.”